Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be....

...Spiderman fans

" Spider-Man 2 hype and more...

Even More Reviews and Hype For Spider-Man 2

Meanwhile, Harry Knowles over at Ain't It Cool News is ready to pick out china patterns with the movie. (I would recommend taking the Ain't It Cool News rave with a grain of salt. I've noticed that Harry either seems to love or loathe films and there's not usually a middle ground.) As of the time of this post, the film has a 97% "fresh" rating over at Rotten Tomatoes."

Freedom Before We Promised

Just a thought on the Iraqi power transfer...

From Iraq the Model:
"Then suddenly Mr. Bremer appeared on TV reading his last speech before he left Iraq. I approached the TV to listen carefully to the speech, as I expected it to be difficult in the midst of all that noise. To my surprise everyone stopped what they were doing and started watching as attentively as I was.


I was deeply moved by this great man’s words but I couldn’t prevent myself from watching the effect of his words on my friends who some of them were anti-Americans and some were skeptic, although some of them have always shared my optimism. I found that they were touched even more deeply than I was.


Another friend approached me. This one was not religious but he was one of the conspiracy theory believers. He put his hands on my shoulders and said smiling, “I must admit that I’m beginning to believe in what you’ve been telling us for months and I’m beginning to have faith in America. I never thought that they will hand us sovereignty in time. These people have shown that they keep their promises.”"

Reading this, it just occurs to me that another reason for the bumped up time-table might have been to show the Iraqis (and the world) that not only were we committed to keeping our word, we would surprise everyone and do it sooner than expected. Better than hoped. True freedom before we promised it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

On a Routine Expedition...

It's Here! It's Here! It's H-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-re!!!
"LAND OF THE LOST - The Complete First Season

Freefall through an open time portal, to a world where menacing dinosaurs roam free! Get reacquainted with Cha-Ka, even if it means having to come to blows over a gigantic vegetable or two. Then stumble once again onto the ruins of The Lost City. No matter which path of adventure you choose, above all else, beware of Sleestak! This three-DVD collection presents all 17 episodes from the first season. Bonus features include commentary tracks by creators Sid & Marty Krofft, sci-fi writers David Gerrold and D.C. Fontana, and Land Of The Lost cast and crew, as well as exclusive interviews."
Read all about the series at

Oh, and don't forget your footy pajamas and a big bowl of Crunch Berries.

TV Tuesday

Week 16 - Commercials

Companies pay billions and billions of dollars each year to drop commercials into our favorite programs in hopes of influencing our shopping habits, getting us to buy things, and toot their own horns. As long as people still have money to spend they'll keep giving us ideas on how to spend it. So this week let's take a closer look at the entity we call commercials.

1. Commercials: Annoying disruption or Interesting Advertisement?

Both, but the description says it all. If it's interesting, generally it's not annoying. If it's annoying, it's not interesting. I read recently about an ad (I haven't seen it yet) for Ball Park Franks that promotes their "girthiness"...*hmm--make up your own joke*...and that's not interesting, it's annoying. Old Navy ads? Annoying. Nike ads? Interesting, usually. Just depends on what they put into them.

2. Is there a commercial that instantly has you reaching for the remote to mute it?

The new Pepto Bismol commercial with a variety of people in an office singing about their various gastrointestinal ailments - the worst commercial I've ever seen, probably.

3. Jingles are one of the most useful tools in commercials, what's your favorite (or least favorite if you prefer)?

One of my favorites has always been the old "You Deserve a Break Today" from McDonalds back in the...what, 60's? 70's? The one with all the male McDonalds employees in their old-style paper hats dancing and singing all over the counters in the restaurant. There were a couple of well-known modern actors in that commercial: John Amos from Good Times and another whose name escapes me at the moment. It'll come to me...

~Bonus~ Has a commercial actually ever influenced something you've done or bought?

Other than alert me that a new restaurant or product actually exists and I might want to check it out, probably not.

Monday, June 28, 2004

This weekend

Good weekend. Saturday my family and I saw Beauty and the Beast at the Cumberland County Playhouse and ate dinner with several friends that evening at the Cumberland Mountain State Park. GiggleGirl complained about the Beast roaring too loud (and she told him that, too, "You're too loud!!!") but she greatly enjoyed meeting Belle onstage and in the lobby after the show.

A good friend of mine that I've worked with on several occasions in Oak Ridge is the musical director for the show, and I got to speak with him briefly.

Sunday we took my mom and dad out to dinner for her birthday to Louis' Sort-of-Original-but-not-really-anymore-since-we-had-to-move-across-the-street-to-avoid-construction-on-I-640 Drive-in.

Oh, yeah, and they mentioned the Inn in the paper Sunday.,1406,KNS_2797_2988407,00.html

(Registration Required)

The post they reference is here, along with some updated information about elected Republicans in Knoxville and Knox County.

Friday, June 25, 2004

The Down and Troubled (Who Need a Helping Hand) are Now Just Out of Luck

James Taylor is no longer your friend.

(Via Sheila's Red-Headed Ramblings)

Friday's Feast

Briefly describe your living room.
Vaulted ceiling that goes up two stories. Couch, with coffee table. Stuffed chair and rocking chair. Ramona's bed next to the fireplace, which has a grating with photos all over it. Two windows behind the chairs, plus another way up high above them. A second floor "bridge" separates the living room from the dining room. The entertainment center holds my TV, VCR, DVD and Bose plus about 5,243 DVD's and CD's. Toys perpetually litter the floor, and there's usually a cat or two underfoot.

List 3 things you'd like to accomplish before the end of 2004.
1) A career move (shhh...don't tell anyone, TNP)
2) Do something to improve our home (new entertainment center, renovate our deck, redo the yard, new couches, something!)
3) Feel more secure in our finances

When you're online, what do you spend the most time reading/playing/doing? Suggest a site for us to visit.
These days I mostly blog or read blogs online, or use email. Here's a fun site:

Main Course
What would the title of your autobiography be?
Well, my life isn't to the point where I would write an autobiography so the title might change by the time I might actually write one, but for now it might be something like, "Renaissance Man"

What time do you usually go to bed?
I've been trying to get in bed earlier these days, but it usually ends up being close to 1am.

A Resourceful and Connected Citizenry

Below I said:
"...while the US government's total communication breakdown with itself on 9/11, from the FAA to the military and back, was incomprehensible.... all it took were cell phone calls from the ground to the passengers of Flight 93 to alert them to the world situation.

Cell phones. They were enough to encourage the passengers to react - react swiftly, and resolutely - to take down Flight 93 themselves.

Not the combined communication power of the US Government. Cell phones."

Today in the Washington post, the point is reiterated: (Registration Required)
"Requiring less time than it took the White House to gather intelligence and issue an attack order (which was in fact not acted on), American citizens gathered information from national media and relayed that information to citizens aboard the flight, who organized themselves and effectively carried out a counterattack against the terrorists, foiling their plans. Armed with television and cell phones, quick-thinking, courageous citizens who were fed information by loved ones probably saved the White House or Congress from devastation."
It shows what people who care more for saving lives of their loved ones than political posturing and power grabs can do for the country...

On a side note, is it just me or is it strange in all the intelligence we've gathered and suspects we've interrogated since 9/11, we still haven't found out precisely which D.C. building was the target of Flight 93? Just odd...

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Theatre Thursday

Week 6 - Animals

Two Brothers opens this weekend in theaters, the story of two twin tiger brothers that are taken into captivity and seperated. Ahh, the drama. We all love movies that are based upon a cute, cuddly, little animal. Well, I guess King Kong wasn't so cute and cuddly. Or little for that matter. So yeah, you guessed it. Its all about animals this week.

1. Whats your favorite movie with an animal as the main character?

Probably The Lion King. I've always been a fan of Disney animation, and I enjoyed The Lion King when it first came out but since my kids got into it, it's really grown on me.

2. Least favorite? And is it your least favorite because of the species of the main character, or just because it was a bad movie?

I loved The Shaggy D.A. when I was a kid (Dean Jones, Susanne Pleshette, Tim Conway - what's not to love??), but after catching it again a couple weeks ago I I loved this movie? It's not a least favorite, by any means, but it shows how the appeal of movies we loved as kids can fade over time - even for us nostalgia buffs. I mean, I bought the big Platinum DVD of The Love Bug, so...

3. Do you prefer your movie animals to be animated or real?

Animated, if they're supposed to talk and move like humans. Cats and Dogs was a good movie, but it's creepy to see their mouths move in CGI.

Bonus~ If you were to star in an animal movie... What type of species would you want your leading... animal to be. And why? C'mon be creative. Even name your animal flick.

Let's see, if I were starring in a movie with an animal it'd have to be...a whale. Yes, an embittered marine biologist leaves on a quest to find the answers he seeks in the wide open waters of the Pacific Northwest coast and befriends a lost humpback whale. I could call it..."The Cetacean, Me, and the Deep Blue Sea".

Call Eisner, I smell blockbuster!

Me and my skunk?!?! Yeah, have fun. Remember to leave a link to your blog or your answers in the comments. 'Til next time...

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

It's Not Easy Being Green

I just finished reading Wicked by Gregory Maguire. It's a stylized narrative of the birth, life and ultimate melting of the Wicked Witch of the West. It's an astounding book, and the musical based on the book was up for several Tonys this year.

The Witch, called "Elphaba" here (based on L Frank Baum's initials, I'm told), is cast as a, well not actually sympathetic character but her actions are much more understandable in light of the circumstances of her life. She is roommate of Glinda, the Good Witch of the North in a college in northern Oz as a teen and their relationship reverberates through Ozian history and politics for many years.

This is by no means a children's book, especially the idea that the humanized "Animals" (those like the Cowardly Lion) function in Ozian society as outcasts and second-class citizens. They even fulfill some of society's...baser functions as well.

I hope to write a nice, detailed review soon but for now has anyone else read this?


Instapundit reports on the lack of interest in Bill Clinton's book here in Knoxville:
"THEY MAY BE STANDING IN LONG LINES for Bill Clinton's book in New York, but when I visited my local mall just a few minutes after it opened this morning, the customers didn't seem to be lining up for their copies."
Ok, Glenn, remember - this is Knoxville.


The town where usually you can't swing a dead yellow dog without hitting a Republican. Or three.

I'm (nominally, now) a Democrat, and the rest of us are few and far between.

Frankly, I'm surprised it's even on sale here.

UPDATE (06/27/04):

For those News Sentinel visitors who might've read about this site in the paper (and others) please bear in mind:

a) The previous mayor of Knoxville for the last 16 years was a Republican.

b) The current mayor of Knoxville is a Republican.

c) The current mayor of Knox County is a Republican.

But of course, local races are non-partisan...right? Mmm-hmm...

Plus, I should've been more clear and said Knox County instead of just Knoxville. There the percentages str-e-e-e-e-etch just a bit toward the right.

Yahoo! Searches

I'm getting a good number of search result hits from Yahoo for "Petals Around The Rose answer" or "Petals Around the Rose solution". I talked about this puzzle here.

Right now I'm about 7th or 8th on those searches.


Sorry, I talk about the Petals Around the Rose, but I'm not giving the answer. No, you have to solve it yourself.

Yes, the only way to find a solution to Petals Around the Rose is to be patient and persistent. Soon you too will be able to solve Petals Around the Rose.

Did I mention Petals Around the Rose?

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

TV Tuesday

Week 15 - Infomercials

"But wait, there’s more!"

2004 is the 20th anniversary for the infomercial. The first acknowledged informercial was for Herbalife, a weight loss supplement in the fall of 1984. From real estate investments to fitness equipment, and kitchen gadgets, infomercials played to the tune of $154 billion in sales last year.

But celebrities beware - Cher’s star status was chewed apart after appearing in an infomecial for hair care products, and Dionne Warwick’s Psychic Friends Network sent her image from classy to kooky. Who could forget Susan Powter: Stop the insanity!

1. Do you watch infomercials? Be honest now! LOL

Honestly, nope. Not a single one.

2. What's your favorite infomercial or infomercial product?

Boy, I'm not going to have much for this week's entry. I don't watch them so I don't know them, except passing by while channel surfing. Um, maybe Suzanne Somers Thigh-Master? Simply because when it was running, I hadn't seen her in anything for several years at that point.

3. Have you ever bought anything from an infomercial? If so, what was it?

Again, nope. Boring, boring, boring...

~Bonus~ What's the stupidest (most annoying, most worthless) infomercial you've ever seen?
Any of the ones that are demoing their product before a live audience, that can only get excited and pepped up because the stage hands are holding their kids hostage and threatening them with dismemberment and shipping off to labor camps. Or they're just holding up "CHEER" signs, it's difficult to tell...

Remember to leave your link or answers in the comments!! :)

Monday, June 21, 2004

Paving Paradise

"Don't it always seem to go,
That you don't know what you've got, 'til it's gone?"
-- Joni Mitchell
For some reason this song's been running through my head today.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Father's Day Weekend

A weekend summary of life in and around the real Inn of the Last Home:

  • Friday: Met Beth and some of my old high school friends for drinks at The Spot, a local club. The club caters now, it seems, to the crowd that have yet to celebrate their 10-year class reunion, much less their 20th.

    Beth - raucous, caustic, and witty and sophisticated as ever - was our class valedictorian and one of my best friends in school. She is living her dream, raising and caring for horses in Kentucky after spending several years as a loan procurer for horse owners. Her younger sister Catherine was in my younger brother's class and also joined us. I haven't seen her since she was in junior high, probably, and suddenly adding twenty years to a junior-high kid was a bit jarring but she turned out to have a dry sense of humor and very easy-going style. Rounding out the group was Karen, who I was not as familiar with in school but now I wish I'd gotten to know her better - she is quite charming.

    So, how did I get so lucky to spend the evening with three beautiful women? (ssssh...don't tell my wife) :)

    We enjoyed our own reunion, toasting the memory of our classmate who recently passed away and sadly won't be attending any more reunions.

    Time passes.

    I got home at 1:30 am...

  • Saturday - We got up early, took BrainyBoy and GiggleGirl to a friend's house and spent the morning and afternoon hanging siding for a Habitat for Humanity House.

    Now, I'm the least handy person in the world. I consult the User's Manual for a hammer. And it was me that caused the Northeast US blackout last year when I tried to change a fuse. So what in the world do I know about siding?

    Well, surprise, no more than anybody else that volunteered! So what did we do?

    We finished the house. In two hours less than the time allotted :) Yeah, us!

    Tired and sweaty, we picked up the kids (Quote: "We have to leave n-o-o-o-o-w-w-w-w????"), farmed them off took one each to visit their respective sets of grandparents, and returned home. L. (my wife) soon left for a work fundraiser that night, and I ambled my way to Oak Ridge to see their production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Sound familiar? That's the show I musical directed in Florida back in February. This was an extra hoot because my boss's husband was playing the lead, Sheriff Dodd.

    I got home and was in bed by 12:15, L. home and in bed not much later than that. This was the first time since the Pleistocene era that I'd been in bed asleep before her.

  • Sunday: After church, we gathered BrainyBoy and sent him to camp Wesley Woods in Townsend, TN. This is his first overnight (two nights, actually) camp trip, and you would think he did this every day. BB is adaptable - happily, eagerly - to almost any situation and gave hardly a second glance.

    Back to my parents house for Father's Day cookout. Spent the evening lounging happily on the back deck with my dad and L's dad, watching the end of the US Open and allowing our bellies to expand from the hamburgers and hot dogs. GiggleGirl and I took a walk around the yard where I grew up, looking for butterflies and bunnies.

    We just got home a while ago. L. and GiggleGirl are snuggled in the bed, BrainyBoy's at camp, I'm on the computer and all's right with the world.

    Life is very. Very. Very. Good.

Friday, June 18, 2004


'House-sized' meteorite hits

"A METEORITE reportedly the size of a house fell on the New South Wales south coast overnight, exploding in a bright flash, police have said.


The meteorite was described as glowing silver in colour and similar to an artillery shell when it exploded with a bright flash on impact."
I thought all those stories about meteorite and asteroid impacts always screamed that a hit by anything bigger than this would produce a multi-megaton explosion, wiping out all life in the area and creating a nuclear-winter like effect?

Maybe it wasn't a meteorite....

Anyone check lately to make sure the International Space Station or the Hubble's still in orbit?

Pet Blogging

Ramona (1 yr)

Little Bit (11 yrs)

Tasslehoff Burrfoot - aka "Demon Cat" (11 yrs)

The Newest BlogDaddy

SayUncle's got a SayBaby!

Friday Feast

This looks like fun...

What kind of car do you drive? If you could make an even trade for any other car, what would you want to drive?
I drive a 1994 light green Ford Taurus. With no radio. We inherited it from when my wife's grandfather passed away four years ago. If I could trade, I'd trade for my coworker's red Mustang that I see and drool over every day in the parking lot (the car, not the coworker).

Take your phone number and add each number together separately (example: 8+6+7+5+3+0+9=38) - what's the total?
Home: 21, Work: 22, Cell: 28 Bingo!

When were you last outside, and what were you doing?
This morning, coming to work.

Main Course
What is your favorite restaurant, and what do you usually order there?
My favorite restaurant right now is probably the Rainforest Cafe, although unfortunately there's not one in Knoxville. When we visit the one in Nashville I usually get the Meat Loaf. Otherwise, my local favorite is probably Litton's in Fountain City (suburb of Knoxville where I grew up), and I always get their famous hamburger.

Name 3 things in which you occasionally indulge.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

A Tragedy of Errors?

Radio Record Paints Chilling 9/11 Picture Yahoo! NewsLet's examine this Tragedy of Errors piece by piece:
Chilling radio transmissions by the Sept. 11 hijackers from the planes they commandeered were played publicly for the first time Thursday, providing a vivid and horrifying portrait as they unfolded on that fateful day before confused air traffic officials and military personnel.
"We have some planes. Just stay quiet and you'll be O.K. We are returning to the airport," a hijacker, believed to be Mohamed Atta, the alleged ringleader of the 19 hijackers, told the passengers of American Airlines Flight 11. The tape was played for the audience at the commission's hearing.
That transmission was the first inkling federal air traffic controllers had of the hijacking of American Airlines Flight 11 shortly after takeoff from Boston's Logan Airport at 8 a.m. EDT. Atta had been speaking to the plane's passengers, but the radio transmission was received at the FAA's Boston Center.
All right, let's assume they intercepted this transmission around app. 8:05 a.m....
As FAA controllers tried desperately to contact the plane, which had changed its transponder code, they picked up another transmission, also apparently from Atta.
"Nobody move. Everything will be O.K. If you try to make any moves, you'll endanger yourself and the airplane. Just stay quiet."
Understandable, that this would probably continue till about 8:15
Controllers tried to contact the military, even trying to raise a military alert center in Atlantic City, N.J., unaware that facility had been phased out. The FAA finally reached the appropriate military office at 8:37 a.m.
First Unforgivable Mistake, that they wouldn't have an updated list of military alert centers. This should have been both the responsibility of the FAA and the military to keep the lists up to date, in case of such an emergency. As both are government agencies, they should easily be able to talk to each other and have kept this information current and accessible.

This allowed Flight 11 about twenty more free minutes to fly toward NYC. By now, over thirty minutes of flight time have passed since they first received the first inkling of a problem.
"We have a problem here," the FAA's Boston Center told NEADS, the North East Air Defense Sector. "We have a hijacked aircraft headed towards New York, and we need you guys to, we need someone to scramble some F-16s or something up there, help us out."
"Is this real-world or exercise?" asked the incredulous NEADS officer.
"No, this is not an exercise, not a test," the FAA responded.
F-15 fighter jets were ordered scrambled from Otis Air Force Base at 8:46 a.m. Forty seconds later, Flight 11 hit the north tower of the World Trade Center.
It took the Air Force about 9 minutes to scramble the jets, just before Flight 11 hit. I have no quibble with the time it took to get the jets in the air, but if communication had been better they might have been in the air as much as 20 minutes sooner. We'll never know if they could've made it to NYC on time to save Flight 11 or Tower #2, but they would have certainly been there in time for.....
For United Flight 175, the second plane hijacked from Logan, the situation was similarly disjointed. That plane took off at 8:14 a.m. from Boston's Logan Airport. At 8:47 a.m., almost the same time as Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center, Flight 175 changed its transponder code.
If communications had been where they should be, the few minutes it takes to react to a possible hijacking of Flight 175 should've been shortened with news of Flight 11's fate...
At 8:58 a.m., a controller at the FAA's New York Center told another New York controller, "We might have a hijack over here, two of them." At 9 a.m., a New York Center manager tells the FAA Command Center in Herndon, Va., "We have several situations going on here. It's escalating big, big time. We need to get the military involved with us."
Instead, it took eleven minutes for the speculation to begin.

So, ten minutes after Flight 11 crashed into tower #2, the FAA at New York says they might have a couple of hijacks? Might?? Understandably it might have taken several minutes for the news that the plane had hit the tower to filter through, but not the hijackings themselves.

The F-15's have been in the air for about ten minutes, assuming it only takes a couple minutes from orders to takeoff.

The first Unforgivable Mistake ripples down the line.
Flight 175 hit the south tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03 a.m.
Had the order to scramble come sooner the F-15's might've been there, seen what Flight 11 had done, received the news of the second hijacking and been prepared to deal with Flight 175.
The third hijacked plane, American Airlines Flight 77, had left Dulles International Airport near Washington at 8:20 a.m. At 8:54 a.m., the plane deviated from its flight plan. It was tracked by an Indianapolis-based controller, then unaware of the other hijackings. When the controller couldn't raise the aircraft, it notified other agencies that it was missing and may have crashed.
Here's the second Unforgivable Mistake. At 8:54, fifty minutes had passed since Atta's intercepted comments, seventeen minutes since FAA Boston had notifed NEADS, and eight minutes since the F-15's were scrambled and Flight 11 hit Tower #2, and seven minutes since FAA New York had lost Flight 175's transponder code.

Indianapolis had no idea anything was going on. They thought Flight 77 out of Dulles had possibly crashed, even though the World Trade Center had been burning for eight minutes.

Normally a flight path deviation is not a huge cause for alarm, but after what had happened already a third airliner anomaly should've raised all kinds of red flags had the correct communication been in place.
The military did not know about the search for Flight 77. Instead, it was mistakenly told by the FAA's Boston Center that American's Flight 11 was still in the air and headed toward Washington. Fighter jets were ordered scrambled from Langley Air Force Base at 9:24 a.m.
The third Unforgivable Mistake. Now about ten minutes after the first crash, the military thinks Flight 11 is alive and headed for DC??? This mistake in communication causes more untold confusion and delays.

The second crash occurs a minute or two later, and the military is still unaware the WTC is under attack at all...*sigh*

The fourth Unforgivable Mistake. Flight 77 has been off its flight plan and incommunicado for thirty minutes....Savor that - Thirty Minutes....until jets are scrambled from Langley at 9:24.

Had the Langley jets been scrambled earlier, and received accurate orders....
Instead of heading north to Washington, the fighter jets headed east over the ocean because the initial scramble order didn't include the target's location or distance. A "generic" flight plan incorrectly led the fighter jet pilots to believe they were to fly east for 60 miles, the report said.
...things might have been different.
FAA radar, meanwhile, had apparently been able to track Flight 77, but for what the commission said were technical reasons, the information was not immediately displayed to controllers at the Indianapolis center. It eventually re-emerged on radar, and by 9:32 a.m. controllers at Dulles observed that it was headed to Washington.
Technical glitches happen. Tragic, but not quite unforgivable under normal circumstances. But these being far from normal circumstances, this is the fifth Unforgivable Mistake. For thirty minutes, the FAA had Flight 77 on radar but Indianapolis couldn't see it until 9:32. Were there no other radar installations between Indianapolis and Washington?
The FAA asked an unarmed military cargo plane to identify and follow the airliner. At 9:38 a.m., the pilot of that plane reported to the Washington control tower that it "looks like that aircraft crashed into the Pentagon, sir."
Meanwhile, the Langley jets have been cruising over the ocean for fourteen minutes. Accurate orders might not have put them in DC in time to intercept Flight 77, but earlier scramble orders would have.

Each successive hijacking and loss of communication with the planes should have decreased reaction time and increased suspicion and alert. It did not, and each one was treated with more or less the same amount of reaction.

Lack of communication was critical and disastrous.
United Airlines Flight 93 had taken off from Newark at 8:42 a.m. Its last transmission was at 9:28 a.m. A minute later, the Cleveland-based FAA controller heard "a radio transmission of unintelligible sounds of possible screaming or a struggle from an unknown origin."
There was a second transmission, with sounds of screaming someone yelling, "Get out of here, get out of here." Then came another transmission. "Keep remaining sitting. We have a bomb on board."
Between 9:34 a.m. and 9:38 a.m., the controller observed United 93 climbing and moved several aircraft out of its way. Then another transmission came from the plane.
"Uh, is the captain. Would like you all to remain seated. There is a bomb on board and are going back to the airport, and to have our demands (unintelligible). Please remain quiet."
United 93 was spotted by another aircraft and reported to be "waving its wings." It crashed in Pennsylvania at 10:03:11 a.m. near Johnstown.
Flight 93 was out of contact for thirty-five minutes until it crashed in Pennsylvania.

There was suspicion of hijacking at 9:28, forty-two minutes after Flight 11 crashed, thirty-four minutes after loss of communication with Flight 77, and twenty-five minutes after Flight 175 crashed.

At 9:38, hijacking was likely independantly confirmed with the last transmission from the hijackers, fifty-two minutes after Flight 11 crashed, thirty-five minutes after Flight 175 crashed, forty-four minutes after loss of communication with Flight 77 and right at the same minute it crashed into the Pentagon.

At 9:38, the Langley jets were still out in the ocean. It's unknown whether they could've made it back to DC by the time Flight 93 would've made it there.

It's unknown (to me) if any other jets were or could have been scrambled between Newark and Pennsylvania.

But for the grace of God, and courageous passengers, our Capitol Building or the White House remains intact.

But it's still the sixth Unforgivable Mistake that the hijacking of Flight 93 wasn't recognized and reacted to before it crashed.

Communication breakdowns, not security, lost that day and changed the world.

UPDATE: Panel Doubts Claim That F-16's Would've Stopped Flight 93 New York Times - registration required)

"The doomed passengers who fought with terrorist hijackers aboard United Airlines Flight 93 probably saved "countless" other lives and might well have prevented an attack on the White House or the Capitol, the staff of the commission investigating the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, said today.

The heroism of the passengers was vital because — contrary to some earlier official statements and impressions — the pilots of F-16 fighters that had been scrambled to protect Washington did not have the authority to shoot down a hijacked aircraft, the report said.

Noting that officials of the North American Aerospace Defense Command have maintained that they would have intercepted and shot down Flight 93, which crashed in southwestern Pennsylvania, had it reached Washington, the staff of the 9/11 commission differed.


"There was only one set of fighters orbiting Washington, D.C., during this time frame," the report said, referring to a pair of F-16's from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia. "They were armed and under Norad's control."

But they had not been told that they were authorized to shoot down an aircraft, contrary to what Vice President Dick Cheney thought at that time. In fact, the report noted, "the Langley pilots were never briefed about the reason they were scrambled" and did not know that the vice president had ordered that a Washington-bound hijacked jet be shot down."
So even if the F-16's from Langley could've made it in time to intercept Flight 93 before it hit Washington, they may not've known what to do with it.

Lack of proper order is a continuation of the fifth Unforgivable Mistake.

UPDATE 2: I forgot to make the point above, that while the US government's total communication breakdown with itself on 9/11, from the FAA to the military and back, was incomprehensible.... all it took were cell phone calls from the ground to the passengers of Flight 93 to alert them to the world situation.

Cell phones. They were enough to encourage the passengers to react - react swiftly, and resolutely - to take down Flight 93 themselves.

Not the combined communication power of the US Government. Cell phones.

Trickle Down Economics

Nonprofit Hospitals Said to Overcharge Uninsured

"A group of plaintiffs' lawyers filed civil lawsuits against more than a dozen nonprofit hospitals across the country yesterday, contending that the hospitals violated their obligation as charities by overcharging people without insurance and then hounding them for the money."
Well, I don't know if our hospitals are doing this, but if they are I'm sure not seeing any sign of it in my paycheck....

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Oops - Our Bad

Hospital on Long Island May Have Exposed 177 to Viruses ( - Registration Required)

"Nearly 180 patients of North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset were informed last week that they might have been exposed to H.I.V. or the hepatitis virus because instruments used for routine endoscopies might not have been properly disinfected.


Red flags went up at after hospital officials discovered that two employees had failed to test a disinfectant bath used to clean the endoscopes."
As bad as having to endure an endoscope in the first place, then this. Makes you want to swear off getting sick.

In fact, I think I will. From this moment on, I'm no longer going to get sick.



Tuesday, June 15, 2004

More about the Bijou

Bijou brings curtain down (Knoxville News Sentinel, 06/15/04, Registration Required)
"The Bijou Theatre Center Board of Trustees has shut down the historic theater.

The board fired the entire Bijou staff on Monday morning and suspended all operations, including the remainder of the 2003-04 Bijou-produced play season."

In a prepared statement sent by e-mail to the News Sentinel, board Chairman Chuck Morris said, "We are taking the difficult but necessary steps to put the Bijou on sound footing and to get out from under the debt burden that has hampered the theater for nearly three decades.

"Our plan is to suspend operations, eliminate the debt and re-emerge as the community asset the Bijou can and should be."
Interestingly, board Chairman Chuck Morris grew up living next door and across the street from two sets of my aunts and uncles, and he and I used to play together as kids. But that has no bearing on anything here ;)

The Bijou has been an interesting venue to both perform and watch plays. I've done about three or four shows there, ranging from The Velveteen Rabbit to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat to music directing Guys and Dolls. The dressing rooms were horrible, the heating/cooling was nonexistant and the stage was miniscule.

But it was the Bijou - the Bijou - and if you grew up in Knoxville, especially if you were involved in theatre in some way, you have a place in your heart for it.

I'm especially sad for the staff, a number of whom I've worked with in various productions over the years.

Good luck to the staff, and good luck to Chuck at finding a new financial footing, and good luck to the little theatre that, ultimately, couldn't....

Monday, June 14, 2004

TV Tuesday

Week 14 - TV Dads

Since Father's Day is this Sunday I thought this week would be a good chance to explore TV Dads! TV Moms got their chance and now it's Dad's turn! So in honor of all those hard working and lovable dads out there, this one's for you! :)

1. Which TV Dad would you have most liked to have for your own dad? On the flipside, who was the TV Dad you'd have least liked to have had?

The best TV dad is Andy Taylor, who did the best at bringing up a little boy on TV. The worst dad has to be Al Bundy.

2. Who do you consider the most realistic TV Dad? Who did you consider simply too good to be true?

The most realistic TV Dad probably was Michael Landon as Pa Ingalls - the one simply too good to be true was probably Mike Brady.

3. Let's play a little Dad word association, what's the first word that comes to mind when you see the following names:

George Jetson :: harried
Cliff Huxtable :: unconcerned
Dan Conner :: smiling
Gomez Addams :: romantic
Archie Bunker :: dense
Jed Clampett :: comfortable
Ward Cleaver :: sedate
Tony Micelli :: who?
Ozzie Nelson :: cliche
Homer Simpson :: self-centered

~BONUS~ Use the letters F-A-T-H-E-R-S D-A-Y to describe your own dad!
I don't have that much creative energy ;) Suffice to say I love my dad very much!

And a VERY Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there!! :)

Here and There

  • Fred Clark, aka Slacktivist, discusses the alarming recent rise in popularity of the Rev. (loosely stated) Sun Myung Moon)

  • RIP Bijou Theatre. Apparently.
    The Bijou Theatre Center Board of Trustees announced to the Bijou staff this morning that all Bijou Productions will be suspended and all employees would be let go immediately.
    (Story from Volunteer TV Email alert - not yet on website at press time)

  • CRIKEY!!!!

  • Leslie saves cats, is stalked by ticks and snakes, uncovers old photos of dead relatives and her own misspent childhood, and gets chased by wild chimps with black spiders. Sort of. Just keep reading.

  • We watched the Reagan funeral off and on over the weekend at the cabin. Just the sight of Margaret Thatcher and Mikhael Gorbachev sitting together in the National Cathedral was jaw-dropping.

    Does anyone know where to find transcripts of what the former president's children said at the burial service in California?

Petals Around the Rose

This is a highly obnoxious and totally frustrating brain teaser that apparently made even Bill Gates sweat out the answer.

There are only a couple of instructions to solving the puzzle:
  1. The name of the game is significant
  2. Each answer is an even number
I took me a couple of hours, total, but that was checking back every 10 minutes or so to try again, so it really only took me about 30 minutes of actual logic time.

If you figure it out, don't indicate the answer in Comments but do let me know if you got it. You can then be inducted into the Fraternity of Petals Around the Rose

Give it a try!

(Hat Tip: Master of None)

AdventureCon Update

Rich and Rex of the Rocky Top Brigade attended as well.

Check out their experiences!

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Later, Alligators

My wife and I leave after lunch today for a kids-less weekend at a cabin in Gatlinburg, complete with fireplace, hot tub, pool table and view of the mountains.

So, to the rest of you stuck at home this weekend, I just say:


UPDATE (06/14/04): Back. Double nyaaaaa!!!

Theatre Thursday

Week 4 - Do You Believe in Magic?

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is now pulling all kinds of young witches and wizards away from their Playstations and into movie theatres all across the country.

That got us Muggles to thinking...wouldn't it have been cool to be able to point your wand at the bully that pushed you around on the playground, say "EXPELLIARMUS!", and watch them fly back against the wall?

1) Which magical power would you like to have (in order to further the cause of good for mankind, of course)? Which magical power would you like to have that you would keep hidden, guiltily, cackling about it under your sheets at night?

a) I'd like to have the power to make myself disappear and appear in another location. I just hate to drive ;) b) um, er, what? I would never do anything like that! (unless maybe I had the power to turn invisible....heh heh heh)

2) If you had a flying broomstick, would you use it? Where would you go?

Absolutely. I'd love to fly. I think I'd just enjoy flying above and around the mountains here in East Tennessee in the fall. Oh, and I'd fly in and buzz a Tennessee football game, preferably when Florida's about to score...

3) If you could briefly turn yourself into an animal, what would it be?

Well, if it didn't have a broomstick it would be some kind of bird (see above for reasons) but absent that, maybe a dolphin.

Bonus) Do you believe in magic?

Do I believe in miracles? Yes! Magic, as in Harry Potter/witches/wizardry type magic? No, sorry. Solely the stuff of fantasies.

That's it till next time! Be sure to leave your name and blog address in the Comments when you've answered the questions.

And remember, Traguna Makoides Tregorum Satis Dee!

Wednesday, June 09, 2004


I auditioned yesterday for Albert (the Dick Van Dyke role) in Bye Bye Birdie at the Oak Ridge Playhouse. We'll see what happens - wish me (belated) luck!

UPDATE (06/14/04): Heard nothing over the weekend, rehearsals start tonight. Oh well.

Monday, June 07, 2004

TV Tuesday

Week 13 - Daytime Talk TV

From the tame and elegant setting of Oprah to the wild and crazy brawls of Jerry Springer daytime talk TV has a little bit of everything. They've got make-overs, psychics, paternity suits and things you'd rather not know about but their ratings are through the roof!! Like them or hate them they're part of TV culture.

1. Do you watch daytime talk TV? If so, which shows do you watch? Do you prefer the calm shows like Oprah or the wilder side like Jerry Springer?

Sorry, don't watch any of them. If I had to, I'd watch a light variety show like Ellen Degeneres or Wayne Brady. But that's only if I was forced to, by like, being in a full-body cast or something.

2. Which daytime talk TV show would you like to be on? What would the topic be?

If I had to appear on one, it'd be on one of the above-mentioned shows. I like both of the hosts, and I think I'd have a good time. No confrontations, no controversies, just fun chatter. Of course, I'd have to be promoting my new movie, or book or something ;)

3. Is there a daytime talk TV show you miss that's no longer on the air? Is there someone you'd like to see get a daytime talk TV show?

Can't think of any I miss. Someone who might be interesting would be Nathan Lane, but he'd have to do a lot of Broadway stuff.

~Bonus~ Before talk TV took over game shows ruled the airways during the day, which do you prefer? Or are you a soap opera fan?

I've followed Days of our Lives off an on (mostly off) since I was in school because my mom watched it during the day when I was a kid. It was just a family tradition. She still tells me occasionally what's going on...

Quick Thought on "The Dead Zone" premiere last night

If you watched "24" last season, you'll be heartened to know that new guest star Sara Wynter hasn't changed her expression a bit since she was on it.

It Sucks To Be Me

Congratulations to Avenue Q for winning the 2004 American Theatre Wing Tony Award for Best Musical

You and Me

Ok, I resisted at first, but here it is.

I first saw it on seductive kisses, and again on Big Orange Michael.

Answer the questions in the comments section.
1. Who are you?
2. Are we friends?
3. When and how did we meet?
4. Do you have a crush on me?
5. Would you kiss me?
6. Give me a nickname & explain why you picked it.
7. Describe me in one word.
8. What was your first impression?
9. Do you still think that way about me now?
10. What reminds you of me?
11. If you could give me anything,what would it be?
12. How well do you know me?
13. When's the last time you saw me?
14. Ever wanted to tell me something but couldn't?
15. Are you going to put this on your weblog and see what I say about you?

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: My Thoughts

Friday night (yes these posts are out of order) BrainyBoy (v8.3) and I went to see the new Harry Potter movie, and were not disappointed. Rather than a full and salient review (seeing as I am neither full nor salient myself), suffuse yourselves with a few brief observations and comments:


1) Overall, I enjoyed this movie a great deal, but I'm not sure why. The pacing was as even as I've ever seen in any kind of action-oriented film. There were very few highs, and very few lows - most of the action throughout the film was on a very even plane. I began to notice this trait about half-way through, and it followed fairly consistenly to the end. I don't think this was a bad thing, necessarily - it most likely had more to do with the structure of the novel than anything the director or screenwriter consciously did - but it was interesting nonetheless.

2) Again, this is the fault of the book but it felt wrong to leave Ron out of the climax of the movie. He was holed up in the Hogwarts infirmary with an injured leg while Harry and Hermione went back into the past. I thought as a result the last 20 minutes or so were too dry. Interesting, because time travel is always interesting, but Ron's normal addition to the team was obviously missing.

3) That said, he was written to be almost too childish through the whole movie, and was never allowed to do much that was heroic. And Rupert Grint as Ron is too old for some of the dialogue. If they're going to continue with the same group of young actors in the roles for films to come, they need to remember to steer the dialogue correctly.

4) What the heck happened to Draco "Mr. Pushover" Malfoy? Everytime he's confronted he breaks down into little girly-man tears and runs away. Yes, a bully is a coward at heart, but how does even he possibly keep his little crowd of Slitherin Sycophants interested?

5) Sirius Black's sudden change from hideous bad guy to trusted good guy, while accurate from the novel, was extremely abrupt and almost took me out of the story. And Gary Oldman was wasted in what was essentially a minor part.

6) Speaking of wasted actors, poor Maggie Smith. Why does she even bother signing on if they're not going to give Professor McGonnigal anything to do except flutter her hands and look worried? Similarly, Alan Rickman's act is getting old and needs to evolve more from film to film as Professor Snape gets more familiar with Potter and his friends.

7) Is it just me, or did David Thewlis (Lupin) look almost exactly like Jeffrey Jones?

8) Excellent use of the time metaphor throughout the movie, from the giant pendulum just inside the front door of hogwarts, to the virtual trip through the clockface, it set up the ending perfectly.

9) The Dementors were especially chilling.... I was a bit worried about BrainyBoy, but he took them in stride. Thankfully he's a bit young to have absorbed a good deal of the popular Death imagery, so the Death-Eater's similarity to the Grim Reaper was probably lost on him. They were still plenty spooky in that "Nazgul" sort of way...

10) I hope Hogwarts Castle has a good drainage system in the grounds, because somehow it seemed to rain and/or snow almost through the entire film. Also, BrainyBoy's soccer team calls off practice for 15 minutes at the first sound of thunder. At Hogwarts, they play Quiddich matches in blinding lightning storms...folks, far be it from me to tell you how to run your games, but if I were a parent of an aspiring wizard-to-be, I'd rather my little Seeker be safely indoors than flying through a thunderheard on a broomstick, dodging deadly lightning bolts. And I'd ask for better weather protection for the spectators, as well...

11) Finally, an open message to the folks who sat beside us in the theatre: Hey, my son's eight - he needed a little help with the plot, and was plenty excited about seeing the movie. That gives you no reason to SSHHHHHHHH!!! us twice - twice! - near the end of the film, in an auditorium full of chattering audience members. There was an action scene going, with little dialogue besides the occasional, "Come on!" and "Let's go, Harry!". Maybe those little snippets are important for you to understand what's going on. But he wasn't bothering anybody. Next time you want utter and abject silence while watching a movie, wait till it comes out on DVD.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

AdventureCon 2004

Today my children took their first step into a larger universe...

We went to a sci-fi/comics convention.

AdventureCon 3.0-something-or-other was in town today, as I mentioned a few days ago. I was excited to see Anthony Daniels and David Prowse, and a few other old TV/movie sci-fi actors, so I planned an afternoon outing - assuming that the kids were safely tucked away at Grandma's house. When that didn't work out (they had planned a day trip to the mountains--have a good time, folks?) I mustered up my midichlorians, and packed them in the car with me.

BrainyBoy was very excited. I asked him later as we were leaving if it was anything like he'd expected, and he said it was nothing like he'd expected.

GiggleGirl was another matter.

GG was basically supercargo - along for the ride. A four-year-old girl who will, on occasion, watch Star Wars with her old man and enjoys the music but would much rather be playing with her Little Ponies, was not too keen on the idea.

Buck up little trooper! It'll be fun! There'll be cool people there, with costumes!

GG: "Um........ok........"

So off we went. Pulling in the parking lot, there's the General Lee! Parked right outside the convention center!

BB: "What's the General Lee, dad?"

*Sigh* "We'll look at it again on the way out."

So in we go - BB has our video camera in hand, and GG is swinging merrily from my hand. The first thing we see is the Dark Knight - The Batman. Well, someone in a Batman costume.


Paying our admission, we enter the hall. Wall to wall dealer tables - more than I've ever seen, really, outside of Atlanta's DragonCon.

Now, a quick word about my history. I'm a sci-fi geek from way back. I never had any costumes, but I attended my share of cons when I was in college. It's been a l-o-o-o-o-o-n-g time since I've been to one, though, and some things never change:

1) There are all kinds of people who attend Cons. Smartly dressed, and dressed in home-made costumes. Those too young to have first-hand experienced the original Star Wars trilogy, to those who were thinking deep thoughts about Heinlein and Asimov while I was still puzzling over Encyclopedia Brown.

2) There is more stuff to waste spend money on than at the mall. Truly.

Well, there's something for consistency.

One thing I did notice - some of the "vintage" toys and games I had when I was a kid. GI Joe's and their original green wooden foot lockers. An original "Trouble" game (with box falling apart).... These weren't vintage the last time I went to one of these...I wonder why?

Anyway, the kids were absolutely entranced. BB, video in hand, shot everything he could see, and somethings noone could see - like his feet. He fluttered from item to item, oohing and aahing over action figures, models, games, videos...GG picked up (literally and figuratively) on the more feminine things: the toys, the older memorabilia like Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers, and assorted stuffed animals. They marveled at the moving Creature from the Black Lagoon, gawked at the mounted AT-AT Walker models (circa 1980 Mattel), and were agog at the full-scale miniature of Jabba the Hutt's Palace, complete with all action figures, working trap-door and compatible sized Rancor beast below. The owner said that it took 16 hours to build. I believed it.

I still have a good number of my old Star Wars action figures from when I was a kid, and BB plays with them occasionally - I'm sure any collector reading this probably is having a heart attack (trust me, it's not this - it's that Atkins diet), but they're reasonably well taken care of.

So the merchandise tables were a hit. Then there were the characters...

Stormtroopers walked freely among the crowd, as did a TIE Fighter Pilot. Several Jedi Knights mixed with a Battlestar Galactica Colonial Warrior. We made our way to the "Ballroom" where the special guests were holding court, and there seemed to be a greater concentration of characters.

Inside this room was the Grand Assembly of the Imperial Legions, or something - which sounds more like a KKK rally than a collection of Star Wars Imperial Troops, but there they all were. People whose imaginations (and courage) are greater than mine, in their homemade armor and weaponry.

Well, BB's shooting everything he can see. Sandpeople, Jawas, Clonetroopers, an Imperial Commander....however, GG had had enough. She immediately jumped in my arms and dug her head in my shoulder....Apparently some of these guys were too much for her, but it wasn't until we saw a red-robed Royal Imperial Guard with her--yes, her--helmet off did GG perk up. You see, under the Guard helmet was a lovely young lady, and GG decided that "a lady" in costume was ok. So she introduced herself, shyly, and made a friend. After that, the costumed people weren't quite so bad :)

We got to see Anthony Daniels (the actor who played/plays C-3PO), who looks well for someone who's had the same part for 20+ years. Also, David Prowse, the man in the Darth Vader suit, Kate Jackson -- Yes, Kate Jackson!!! The smart angel from Charlie's Angels (she had fairly long, straight hair which I didn't think suited her, but I guess we're all used to the shorter bob she had on the show), Catherine Back from The Dukes of Hazzard -- she looked ok, but let's just say Cousin Daisy's looking more like Aunt Daisy these days, Richard Hatch (not the Survivor guy) who played Apollo on the original Battlestar Galactica, and Felix Silla (Twikki from Buck Rogers. Mr. Silla looked a bit lonely, as no one seemed to be interested in speaking with him. I wonder at these events that draw a number of "C"-list celebrities, if they can sit where they can see each other (which they could today) if they compare the number of autograph-seekers and well-wishers they each get?

GG had finally had enough of the superheroes that shot sparks out of their fingertips, and the -- ahem, well-built -- Supergirl that was with him, so it was once back around the dealer floor.

We did, however, come away with a few purchases (natch).

I found an original Star Trek series set of Micro Machine ships I'd been looking for, BB got a Reek from The Phantom Menace, and a Ringwraith figure from Lord of the Rings. GG got some Snorks, and BB and I both found a model of the Back to the Future Delorean time machine we'd been looking for. In addition, each was given a paper sack full of Star Wars action figures - figures that were being sold in the dealers' room for around $5 each....if we were smart, we might've turned a quick profi---no, no, I wouldn't do that.

Clutching their treasures, BB gave GG a piggy-back ride out, and then home.

What a wonderful day...

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Theatre Thursday

Week 3 - Disaster Movies.

The Day After Tomorrow has opened to rave great passable some reviews, and disaster movies are once again in vogue. This week's Theatre Thursday questions are about those motion pictures that make us want to avoid the water, planes, tall buildings, large cruise ships, angry atomic reptiles and everything in general that makes life enjoyable...

1) What's your favorite disaster movie of all time?

I'm not sure this is a pure disaster movie, but Independence Day is my favorite for general destruction and mayhem.

2) Do you prefer a disaster movie with tons of special effects, carnage and general mayhem (i.e. Armageddon) or would you rather see one where the focus is on the people and the event's effects on their lives (i.e. Deep Impact)?

I want to see how people react to disasters, and how it affects their lives. ID4 does this some, but not a lot.

3) Of all the disaster movies you've seen, which depicts the most realistic portrayal of what might happen in an actual disaster? Which was the most far-fetched?

The most realistic was probably The Perfect Storm. The most far-fetched, to me, was probably The Poseiden Adventure - I still don't believe a boat can just flip over like that and stay afloat :) I also enjoyed, but could scarcely believe, Kingdom of the Spiders.

Bonus) Which character would you be if you were in a disaster movie - the tough hero, the corrupt businessman who profits from it all, the old lady who runs around and screams "We're doomed!!!", the kid who saves the day, the young guy who buys it in the first five minutes of the disaster, or another stock character?

I'd be the guy who tries to cheer everyone up in the face of impending doom, then buys it in the most awful way imaginable...

That's it till next time! Be sure to leave your name and blog address in the Comments when you've answered the questions.

And remember, in the immortal words of Maureen McGovern:

There's got to be a morning after
If we can hold on through the night
We have a chance to find the sunshine
Let's keep on lookin' for the light

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Be Still My Fanboy Heart

AdventureCon is in town this weekend...


Anthony Daniels (C-3PO)
David Prowse (Darth Vader)
Felix Silla (Twikki - "Buck Rogers")
Richard Hatch (Apollo, "Battlestar Galactica")
Jackson Bostick (Captain Marvel)
Brad Dourif (Wormtongue, "Lord of the Rings")
Catherine Bach (Daisy Duke - "Dukes of Hazzard")
Kate Jackson (Sabrina, "Charlie's Angels")
Ernie Hudson (Winston, "Ghostbusters")

Anybody going???

Time Passes

I found out this morning that an old schoolmate of mine passed away. He was the quarterback of our football team, had the lead in our Senior production of Oklahoma!, and was a pretty nice guy.

I didn't actually know him all that well, although we were always pleasant to each other. he was a jock, and I was an art guy.

Interestingly, our high school never seemed to have that bad of a social schism - there were fairly clearly defined parameters to our social and academic circles, but there was still a lot of cross-over, and never any true rivalries between them.

The jocks were active in the Drama Club, a lot of the brains were in the arts, etc. The "lower" strata was there...the punks, the hoods, other misfits - but even most of the misfits seemed to find a niche somewhere.

Other than never having a date (which is about 14 posts by itself), I have a lot of good memories of high school.

Oh, and did I say my 20th reunion is coming up this fall? Yes, it's been 20 years since my high school graduation...

One nice thing about reunions is I've gotten back in touch with a good friend I haven't been in communication with much over the years. She lives in Kentucky, and I'm looking forward to seeing her this fall.

I let her know today of the death of our classmate - she was much closer to him than I was, and was quite shocked at the news.

All this to say...time passes.

Welcome to the Rocky Top Brigade

New Recruits:

My old and dear friend Michael, from Big Orange Michael, Zoot of, well, Zoot. Plus there's Jay at Tennessee Liberal, Betsy at Pizza Soup and Jeff at the Baculum King.

Blogroll has been updated. Here's the code to put the RTB Blogroll on your site:

<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

Every two weeks, one of our Rocky Top Brigade members hosts the Volunteer Tailgate Party, a bi-weekly compendium of the best and brightest posts of our members over those two weeks. If any of the new folks (or anyone at all) is interested in hosting the Party, please check the Calender and let me know.

Welcome everyone!!!

2004 KATC Awards - Winners

For those of you who've been searching for it and coming to my site, here are the winners of the 2004 Knoxville Area Theatre Coalition Awards:

(The first set are from the Oak Ridge Playhouse)

Best Leading Actor in a Musical - Brian Hinman, "Company"
Best Leading Actress in a Musical - Erica Bundy, "The Wizard of Oz"
Best Supporting Actress in a Musical - Dana Wham, "The Wizard of Oz"
Best Director of a Play - Reggie Law, "Sylvia"
Best Leading Actress in a Play - Stephanie Quist, "Sylvia"
Best Supporting Actress in a Play - Karen Brunner, "Sylvia"
Best Scenic Design - Tony Lucchese, "The Diary of Anne Frank"
Best Young People's Production - "Little Women"
Best Short Play/Special Work - "A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine"

Other Area Theatre Companies:

Best Play - "On Golden Pond," Actor's Co-op
Best Leading Actor in a Play - Bruce Borin, "On Golden Pond," Actor's Co-op
Best Supporting Actor in a Play - Terry Weber, "Romeo and Juliet," UT Theatres
Best Musical - "The Secret Garden," UT Theatres
Best Director of a Musical - Ron Bashford, "The Secret Garden"
Best Supporting Actor in a Musical - Tony Cedeno, "Little Shop of Horrors," Bijou Theatre
Best Lighting Design - Keith Kirkland, "The Secret Garden"
Best Costume Design - Bill Black, "Romeo and Juliet"
Best Sound Design - Mike Ponder, "Midwives," UT Theatres

Congratulations to all the winners!

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Just for the Record

Just for the Record is a piece of garbage. You can ping all day, and it will never recognize your site has been updated.

Couple that with SayUncle's Rocky Top Brigade auto-RSS feed not indexing Blogspot sites (apparently), and I have no way to let anyone know I've updated.


Shoot Me Now

BrainyBoy (v8.3) likes to watch Full House on Nick at Nite.



We once saw Drew Barrymore on some show or other, and I told him - "Hey - that's Gertie...the little girl from E.T.!"

He just looked at me. Guess the passage of time is lost on an eight-year-old.

Because of this, there's no way I'm explaining the Olsen Twins.

And speaking of the Olsen Twins - don't they sound like someone Potsie Webber and Ralph Malph might've had a double date with?

Ok, I'll hush.

Hm...Do You Think They Award Pulitzer Prizes For Sci-fi Novels?

Rich from Shots Across the Bow has been unemployed for too long, and he's fed up with it. In true American entreprenureal spirit, he's started his own micro-publishing company: PHD Publishing.
My mission is two fold. First, I will run a small, independent press, specializing in genre fiction, and releasing 12-20 new titles per year. I'll be marketing these PHD Press releases directly to independent bookstores, as well as to the big chains through a distributer. Additionally, PHD Press will provide low cost, quality editions of classic books in the public domain, like Huckleberry Finn, A Christmas Carol, or Around the World in 80 Days.


The second mission will be to provide a one-stop solution for people looking to self publish their work.

Which leads us to PHD Publishers LLC. We offer all the services a self publisher needs, proofing/copy editing, formatting for print or e-book, ISBN registration, printing and binding, whether short run (100-200 copies) or BOD, and web hosting for e-books, or author's book stores. It is our purpose to provide all the support the new author needs to break into self publishing, or to prepare their manuscript for traditional publishers.
If you're an aspiring writer, throw some business Rich's way. He's a nice guy, a great (if not frequent enough) blogger, and a charter member of the Rocky Top Brigade.

Good luck to ya, Rich, and happy publishing!